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history is made : Philippine Azkals turn into a scoring machine in win over Sri-Lanka

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

it was just a few months ago when the country knew almost nothing about this group called Philippines Azkals. when the country woke up to the power of the Azkals, it did not look back and stayed awake since then and its fans growing in number by the multitudes. 

that continued on yesterday when the Azkals beat Sri-Lanka in a most convincing and impressive fashion at 4-0. we almost fell asleep, worried even,  last week when they could only muster a 1-1 tie in Sri-Lanka.  yesterday’s game showed us a different team when the Azkals showed class, fineness and the tenacity of mad dogs going after it’s prey almost at the start of the bell.

the Azkals were relentless in their offense from the very start of the game. i would say the ball was on the half of the pitch on the Sri-Lankan side for a good 85% of the time. and during those moments the ball was on their opponent’s half, the Azkals attempted to kick a score almost every time they were there.

the Azkals that played yesterday looked like they were a completely different team from the one that played in Sri-Lanka last week.

  • the offense  the Azkals executed last week was nowhere to be found. it just didn’t work.
  • yesterday at the Rizal, the Azkals were nothing but an offensive team
  • they passed the ball very well; they created openings for others; they communicated with each other very well and they had set patterns to execute that almost always worked flawlessly
  • they also showed a lot of confidence in the plays. it did not look like this was a team who has not played together a lot. this time around, they seemed to know what the other was going to do and made opportunities for scoring and attack
  • the defense was also excellent with the ball going to the Azkals side not as often and offensive dangers occurring even fewer times
  • etheridge, the goal keeper worked less this time, showing just how great the defense was
  • but of those times etheridge worked, he performed his job flawlessly as always. etheridge we think is clearly a great asset to the team
  • the fact that those who scored yesterday are the same people who used to score before tells you the offensive machine is working very well and the team’s scorers are gaining much confidence on their skills and trust on their teammates
everything about the Azkals just worked perfectly. they did look like a team who has been playing together for many years. aside from the players, credit goes to the coach and his staff. they have obviously done their job in getting the team together. the couch’s effort and skill cannot be ignored. this coach knows his job and he planned this game brilliantly.
 the other equally important ingredient in yesterday’s win goes to the fans, the pinoys who were at the stands going crazy cheering the azkals on. a punishing rain poured on Rizal but the fans stayed on and did not let up in their cheers.  we only watched the game on TV but there was no moment during the game that we did not hear the fans cheering  the Azkals on. they reacted to every moment where we could have scored, made a mistake or did something right. eveything was noticed, even the smallest things.
we think the fans at Rizal made one hell of a difference in the way the Azkals played. football in the country was no linger a sport for the few meztizos and the rich. this was now a game every filipino enjoyed lustily for, for the players who practiced almost 24/7 hearing the fans go crazy in the stands translates into energy and determination among the players.
the azkals not only made its thousands of fans and pinoys happy in yesterday’s win, the team also made history for philippine football as for the first time the country has reached this stage in the qualifying games for the world cup. on that alone, the Azkals has achieved glory and they are already champions! for the pinoys.

Pinoy Power : Cecilia Flores-Oebanda rock star of anti-human trafficking, wins global award

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Filipina ‘rock star’ to kids is human trafficking warrior

By Tarra Quismundo

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:54:00 04/28/2011

MANILA, Philippines—In the company of children, Filipino human trafficking warrior Cecilia Flores-Oebanda is a rock star.

“I was shocked by how the kids welcomed us. They were running toward us, cheering for us. It was really inspiring. They showed us that we were their heroes,” Oebanda said Wednesday by phone from Stockholm, narrating how she and fellow child rights advocates met with a group of children in the Swedish capital.

“Ang sarap-sarap ng feeling (I love the feeling). It’s really inspiring, energizing. It gives me more fire to fight,” she said.

The chair of the Visayan Forum Foundation, a multi-awarded nongovernment organization that fights human trafficking, is one of two winners of the World’s Children’s Honorary Award in the 2011 World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child.

She shares the award—a recognition accorded child rights advocates from around the world—with Monira Rahman of Bangladesh, who was cited for helping victims of acid attacks.

The top prize went to Murhabazi Namegabe, who has long worked for the release of child soldiers and sex slaves in his native Democratic Republic of Congo.

The three will receive their awards from Queen Silvia of Sweden in a ceremony in Stockholm on Thursday. They will share a cash prize of $100,000.

Global vote by kids

Oebanda said 30 nominees were considered during the search and selection process.

At least 24 million children from 101 countries participate in the global voting for the annual awards.

Among its laureates are the beloved South African leader Nelson Mandela. A Jewish girl, Anne Frank, who wrote poems and stories and recorded her life experience during the Nazi regime for two years until she died in a concentration camp at age 15, was given a posthumous award.

“For me, this is the most important and precious award I have ever received because I got votes from the children for whom I’ve been fighting for for 20 years,” said Oebanda, who has received international recognition for her advocacy over the years.

She said she received some 3.2 million votes from around the world, 100,000 from the Philippines, over six months.

“Schools are their majority partners,” Oebanda said of the award organizers. “They discuss what we do in the schools, so it’s really educational.”

A chance for change

For Oebanda, her latest award serves as a fresh push to continue her battle against human trafficking, a persistent transnational problem that preys on some 300,000 Filipinos annually, including minors.

“It’s really a humbling experience. It gives me more fire and strength and courage to do more,” Oebanda said.

“Sometimes, you think you’re alone in this fight. But you see that people are getting together. That’s why it moves me to tears to see the children. You’d see that we have hope in this world, that in our generation, there is a chance for change,” she said.

Perilous struggle

In a report, Agence France-Presse said Murhabazi Namegabe of the Democratic Republic of Congo was awarded for his “long perilous struggle” to free child soldiers and sex slaves in his homeland.

“Since 1989, Murhabazi and his organization BVES (a French acronym meaning office of voluntary service for childhood and health) have freed 4,000 child soldiers and more than 4,500 girls who have been sexually assaulted by armed groups and taken care of 4,600 unaccompanied refugee children,” the organizers said in a statement.

In all, some 60,000 children have been helped to date by BVES, which today runs “35 homes and schools that offer some of the world’s most vulnerable children food, clothes, a home, healthcare, therapy, the opportunity to go to school, security and love,” the prize jury said.With a report from Agence France-Presse

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20110428-333361/Filipina-rock-star-to-kids-is-human-trafficking-warrior

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